Despite being shot in the face and torso, Claudia Apolinar was able to radio for help before applying medical treatment to her partner

By Steve Helling
September 15, 2020 06:12 PM
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Los Angeles County Police Department

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday, a gunman walked up to a police car at the MLK Transit Center in the Compton section of Los Angeles. He raised his pistol and shot the officers several times before running away.

The shooting was caught on surveillance video and was tweeted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office. It soon went viral.

Claudia Apolinar, 31, and her partner were both struck at close range. Apolinar was shot in the face and torso. Her 24-year-old partner sustained several wounds and needed immediate medical treatment. According to the New York Post, Apolinar made a tourniquet for her partner before medics arrived.

Surveillance video of the aftermath of the attack shows Apolinar covered in blood, but giving medical help to her injured partner. She also radios for help.

The officers were transported to a nearby hospital. They are in stable but critical condition and are expected to survive their injuries.

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"This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences," Sheriff Alex Villanueva told CNN. "Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement."

Apolinar, a mother of a 6-year-old boy, had worked as a librarian before becoming a police officer. Authorities have not released additional information about her wounded partner.

One of the deputies' colleagues, detective Keegan McInnis, set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the officers. "Both deputies will require multiple surgeries and have a long road to recovery ahead of them," McInnis writes. "We are asking for our brothers and sisters in our communities as well as our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to come together and help us raise money to ensure their needs and the needs of their families are taken care of."

Authorities have not yet identified the gunman, or provided a motive for the attack. The sheriff’s department is offering a $200,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the unknown gunman.